Claire,

So, I know you're going to wonder why I've taken hostage of your diary. Well, to protect it. Sounds silly, doesn't it? How can I protect something that's not real? And why would I? Well, Claire, I'm holding onto your diary during your absence because I don't want anything to happen to it… because I know how it'd crush your heart if you were to return and your most important possession were gone. Sorry, when, when you return.

And I want you to know I've been keeping bloody good care of this thing. Honestly. Swear on my mum's grave – well, actually my mum's not dead (knocking on wood right now). But back to your journal, I've been very careful with it. 'Cept for that time when Sawyer, the wanker, took it from your bag. Not to worry, though, love, I got it back for you, as you can see. Kate and I visited Sawyer and I was forced to punch the bastard in the face – course he got a punch right back in, but it didn't hurt a sodding bit. The damn Southerner hits like a ponce. And I told him so, too – should've seen the look on his face – bleedin' priceless! In any case, Claire, I got your diary back and don't mind it if there's any blood on the page because the punch I gave him was a real good one – even gave me bloody knuckles. Okay, yeah, so I'm lying. Sue me. But I rather like this slightly male chauvinistic persona I just described. He sounded kind of sexy and fun, don't you agree? All right, that last sentence was … idiotic … and a bit narcissistic, actually. Must be the side effects of being a former rock star. Sorry, suppose I'd write just about anything to avoid what I really want to say. An infinite amount of lame jokes are better than what I've got to tell you.

I hate this part, you know. The seriousness. I've always considered myself a fun, out-going, guy (yeah, even without my old buddy, Harry, mind you). Whenever I need to talk seriously I feel like my heart's rising from my chest and it just gets stuck in my throat, choking me. Repulsive, isn't it? Please don't puke – I never meant to put my thoughts that way. See what I mean? I can't be serious – my head gets all mumbled-jumbled. Well, getting back to the choking – ahem – thing is I actually know quite a bit about that now. Your own personal mystery psycho, when he had taken us – when I let him take you away from me, he had hung me. I don't remember much, (I felt like I was unconscious before I even realized what was going on). I just … I remember you. Not to where he took you, of course, or what he was doing to you – none of the useful information. You were screaming – dreadful yells whose shrills pierced my heart. Oh, well – that was a strange thing for me to say. Sorry, I guess I'm still thinking like a lyricist. Bad habit.

Anyway, when Jack and Kate found me and revived me, I was … I don't know what I was. For the first few moments I wasn't sure where I was. As Jack was holding, uh, cradling, actually – he was cradling me, pretty funny, eh – I remember your frightened face was the first image that came to mind. Later that night I just sat near the burning fire, where they situated my body, and stared into the scolding flames, seeing the ghastly gaze on your visage again and again as Ethan grabbed both your arms and pushed you onward. Claire, if I had to write 'sorry' over and over in this journal for how guilty I feel for allowing him to take you, there wouldn't be enough pages in this book or enough ink in this pen to honestly convey my feelings. So I'll only write it once, but know I mean it with an intensity of a thousand more times. I'm so sorry, Claire, sweet, sweet Claire.

But know that I prayed for you every minute you were gone, including this very one. And if I wasn't so sick in the stomach of the memory of Ethan and if I wasn't so paralyzed by the thought of you or your baby being harmed in any way, I would have run around this entire God-forsaken island to find you. I can't, though – I think I find blinking arduous enough. So I prayed, instead. I talked to Rose, and hearing the anguish in the sound of my own voice brought me to tears. Near the fire, my tears mixed in with sweat and I don't know how Rose held my clammy, disgusting, hand and exclaimed a prayer into the night sky. But she did, and I'm grateful. Because every minute after that night I prayed for you like Rose taught me. I haven't been a really religious bloke in quite some time – I blame Harry for that – but a prayer is a prayer, right? God's got to listen, if not for my sake, then for yours, for your baby's. Rose told me to have faith in God, so I will – I just hope faith is what will bring you back to us safe and sound. Because that's all I really want.

Oh, bloody hell, I don't know what I'm on about. I… I've got a confession to make. I read bits of your diary – only bits, I promise. I'm glad about the way you feel about me, considering I feel same of you, but making you feel secure and keeping you secure are two very different things, aren't they? I'm Charlie Pace, the coward that couldn't take out a single guy for you. I'd say 'I'm sorry' again, but I'm not sure it'd do any good.

God, Claire, I want to say so much to you. All right, listen, Claire, Thomas was a git. Any man that would give up a life of waking up every morning and seeing your little pretty blue eyes is a fool. And I hate to imagine the pain he caused you when he left the two of you. And I hate the stupid crook of a fortune teller that made you get on this ill-fated flight, as they say in the movies, isn't that right? (If you smiled when you read that, I'm glad. I love your smile; my whole world lights up with it.) But the thing I really detest is that you're stuck on this bloody island where no one is guaranteed anything. And now this madman has come after you. And who knows what other lunatics are on this island, you know. You belong home with your family and people that could save you from the things that go bump in the night.

So, I'll tell you this. When, because it's most definitely a when and not an if, you return to us, I will do anything it takes to keep you safe, like I did with this very diary … to take care of you. From now on, for you, I'll do anything and everything. Just remember, Claire, whatever it takes…

Love, (ahem, scratch that),

Sincerely, your faithful "knight,"

Charlie Pace